Drone delivery flights across Lake Zurich

The drone testing by Swiss Post and Matternet is to be ramped up with a new drone delivery flights that include a leg across Lake Zurich.

The two firms have already run successful drone delivery flights in Berne and Lugano that involved sending hospital lab samples between medical centres.

The new test flights that began last week follow a flight path from the main laboratory of ZLZ Zentrallabor Zürich on Forchstrasse to the ZLZ emergency laboratory at the Hirslanden Klinik Im Park.

In a statement posted on its website, Swiss Post said: “The previous transport via road went around Lake Zurich. By contrast, the drone will fly directly over Lake Zurich, cutting down the transport time considerably. This means that the laboratory samples will reach their destination about five times faster by drone. That is time which can be extremely valuable for medical staff and, in turn, for patients.”

Marco Fischer, managing director of the ZLZ, commented: “With drone transport, we’re less reliant on the traffic situation in Zurich. The faster the lab samples reach us, the faster we can get the results back to the patient.”

The tests will run for two weeks.

“During this time we will evaluate the concrete added value for the ZLZ Zentrallabor Zürich. Thanks to the use of drones, the transport of laboratory samples will become more flexible, ecological and, of course, faster,” said Claudia Pletscher, Head of Development & Innovation at Swiss Post.

The testing will hopefully lead to routine drone delivery flights by the medical company. Swiss Post seems to be a supporter of the technology as it noted on its website statement: “Swiss Post believes in drones as a logistics solution. The strong interest in the healthcare sector and over 1,000 successful flights in Lugano have underlined the suitability of the transport methods for special consignments such as laboratory samples.”